As the social standards and customs of the 1960s receded and the 1970s evolved, women's roles were changing rapidly in America.
The turbulent American economy of the seventies, the ongoing effort for women's equality, and cheap overseas manufacturing led to a decline in traditional domestic skills and effort that had long been considered the responsibility of women. The pursuit of the "American Dream" by Baby Boomers in a modern post-war era meant a tremendous shift in values and lifestyle. Women increasingly contributed to dual-income households, and fewer families made or repaired their own clothing and fabric goods. Meanwhile, plastic and nylon as well as thinner metal parts rapidly replaced the heavy all-metal components of domestic sewing machines. What was once an heirloom-quality product became a throw-away appliance.
Let's enjoy not only the nostalgia of these Singer ads from 1945 - 1964, but also what they tell us about American values evolving through the decades. Notice the ads often include dense text that presumably the ladies of the times would carefully read for facts and inspiration - contrasted to modern marketing that must factor the attention span of the Twitter-age. Notice the inclusion of young girls - isn't it easy to imagine daughters becoming just as excited as Mom for a visit to the Singer showroom?
You can right-click on any image to select open image in a new tab if you would like to see the full sized image to read the text more easily.
Leave us a comment to let us know what you find most interesting about this bygone era of social customs and marketing.
Our thanks to VSM collector and historian Will McCann for these beautiful scans. Will appears in our film Still Stitching, as well as this special clip, What's Your Story?
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